eBay Shops

A Previously Unreleased eBay Shop Exposure Tip

This one is little amusing and I only know of a few people have done this and I was the one told them that it even existed.

The Background

While running my own eBay business and few years back, paying out +£200 for an eBay shop was a large expense, back then it was nothing like today’s eBay shops, I had to be ‘authorised’ by someone in in eBay USA and it took several weeks to be set live, none of this flop £350 on the desk and off you go stuff.

Neither did the store have the kind of listing exposure that you probably enjoy now. We used to have something called ‘Store Inventory format’ or SIF for short. Also in short, it was expensive and equally crap.

Without the exposure and added costs, you were truly left to your own devices to promote your store and its listings, which lead me to explore the threshold that makes one store appear in a category in the eBay shops directory.

The eBay Shop Directory

There is a eBay shop directory (Matt hears *gasps* from the readers, no there really is a eBay shop directory) on eBay that follows the eBay category structure, you can see it here and a screen shot is below:


Taking a closer look we have these features:

  1. A search box
  2. A set of categories to the left, that look a lot like the normal eBay categories
  3. Images of the Anchor stores
  4. Several featured shops

You can see a similar layout in the screen shot below, this is shown after clicking into a sub category on the left. You’ll also notice that no basic shops are shown in these results.

ebay shops directory anchor shopsPay Close Attention

Now pay special attention to the left bar, as I hinted above, this is a copy of the  eBay category structure. What I found that the threshold was really low, you just need 5 listings in a given category to provoke the store to show up in the eBay shop categorisation.

So if you’re paying out what is now £350 for an anchor eBay shop (even £50 for the featured eBay shop subscription level is a lot to some), this tactic could gain you extra visitors to the shop and your listings.

Not Spam

I know exactly what one reader (yes that’s you Mr David M!!! I told you I would mention your name this week) of this blog will be thinking when he reads this article, spam.

No, I am not suggesting you spam eBay with random miss-categorised items. I am suggesting that you selectively tailor a selection of items to each category to optimise your search results, while adding variety to the passing buyers.

Possible Example

For example if you sold batteries and mainly computer related items, you’ll naturally be shown in the computing categories, however you could make 5 different battery packs for a specific toy and list it in the toys category #234 or similar.

Check this eBay category structure link, the numbers to the right of the categories similar to (123456) are the item counts for that given category, this tells you which category you should be looking to make packs for.

If you’re anchor level, you should see the most benefit, as the added logo helps convert and the listing fees are dead cheap, even at the ‘Feature eBay shop’ level where the listings are 5p a pop, for 25pence, you can be exposed to an entirely new section of eBay.

Do Not Leave a Comment!

Don’t want to comment on this article? You’re not the only one I can tell ya!

I love receiving emails from my readers, several blatantly say they do not comment because they do not want reveal their names to the outside world, because they do not want others knowing they read this blog, its quite amusing and quite a paradox too.

Mail me directly: [email protected]

8 replies
  1. Dan
    Dan says:

    I’m not sure that customers on eBay shop this way. How much exposure are you really going to get by doing this? For example, we have a featured shop and we’re pretty big in our categories but I’m nowhere near the top of the ‘Bedding Sets & Duvet Covers’ section despite having a great deal of listings in this category. To pay £350 to get my logo shown at the top is great but how long will it take me to get a return on my investment?

    • Matthew Ogborne
      Matthew Ogborne says:

      Howdy Dan,

      You’d only want to be paying the top level eBay shop subscription if you’re over 6000 listings for both the UK, EU and AU sites. If you’re no where near that then you’re right it would be OTT.


  2. eBayAnorak
    eBayAnorak says:

    Hi Matt

    Great read and an altogether interesting blog. Fodder for the info junkie that I am.


    Jane (eBayAnorak)

  3. Matthew Ogborne
    Matthew Ogborne says:

    Hi Dave,

    There are various reasons, mostly because they want to remain hidden.

    I know that two people at eBay read this article this morning, it will be interesting if they actually plug this, although they can only really increase the threshold by a numeric value or introduce a percentage handle on which sellers show in which categories.


  4. D Furness
    D Furness says:

    Hi Matt, another great blog, dont quite understand why people wouldnt want to comment, so as is in my nature, il break the trend and leave a comment. This is something that i didnt know about and will be exploring a little further within eBay.


    Dave F


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